covered in hot water & onslaught,
my throat suddenly opened
around 1 am.
I wanted to skin myself to get rid
of your fingertips and view the collateral
but I didn’t want to be seen in public
either.
instead, I sat cross-legged
under the shower
for forty five minutes
to steam some of it out.
it was a waste of water,
you might have said.

I usually go to bed by nine pm
swathed in cheap sheets I picked up
from a trash can: moth-bitten
and low thread count and I washed them
but you’re right it’s a sense of self-deprivation
I wrap myself inside every night,
tortured
with absent flowers, cold feet,
lamp on next to me and
wax all over the unfinished table
you were making
before I threw the chair you had finished
down the stairs to get you to
open up.
here is what I need,
I might have screamed
but it ended in a soft bite to your
neck and a cloying kiss
you can tell has been rehearsed before.
it’s heavy;
my tongue flush with
little darted lullabies.

I’m up now and I
linger
in the hallway,
nothing in my hand,
wave in my throat
watching the front window,
voice hushed and brusque
and barely noticeable
when I finally move to speak,
to make a command on Earth,
like low tide,
like you,

your sudden
retreat.

“February”

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